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Craft Magic Items for Adventurers, and Overwhelm Your Fellow Witch

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Whirling Witchcraft
• Like many people, I'm a sucker for particular artists, but as much as I like Weberson Santiago's work, I never would have expected to see it on a game from Alderac Entertainment Group as their styles didn't seem to overlap — and yet here we are, looking at the cover of Erik Andersson Sundén's Whirling Witchcraft, a 2-5 player game that AEG plans to release in August 2021.

As for how the game works and exactly what's whirling, here's an explanation:
Being a witch is all about wielding powerful magical ingredients — but a witch can wield only so much power before everything blows up in their face. Choose your recipes wisely to clear your workbench and stick others with too much raw material because the first player to overflow their nemesis' cauldron with enough ingredients wins!

In Whirling Witchcraft, you start with a hand of four recipe cards, as well as a number of ingredients on your workbench; ingredients come in five types, and you have a limited number of spaces for each type on your workbench.

Everyone plays simultaneously during each round. You all choose and reveal a recipe from your hand at the same time, then you can use as many recipes in play in front of you as you wish to convert and transform ingredients. Maybe you'll turn a mushroom into the harder-to-find mandrake, then you can turn two mandrakes (using an older one and the one you just created) to make three mushrooms. You can use each recipe at most once a round, and when you're finished, place all of the final ingredients into a cauldron, then pass it to your neighbor on the right. They must then fit all of these ingredients on their workbench — and if they can't, they must return the "extra" ingredients to you for placement in your "Witch's Circle".

Board Game: Whirling Witchcraft
Recipe cards, with the ones on the end being playable in either direction

If you now have at least five ingredients in your Witch's Circle, the game ends and you win; otherwise you all pass your recipe cards in hand to the player on your left, refill your hand to four cards, then start a new round.

The game includes personality cards you can use to give each player a unique power, in addition to a different set of starting ingredients. Some recipes can be played in either of two directions to help you customize how you transform ingredients, and recipes might also have arcana symbols that give you bonus powers when you collect enough of them.

Board Game: Whirling Witchcraft

Can you put together the right cookbook to land your neighbor in hot water?
Board Game: Merchants of Magick: A Set a Watch Tale
• And let's pair the previous title with another magic-based design, specifically Merchants of Magick, a 1-8 player design from Clarence Simpson and Rock Manor Games that features a striking cover from Boris Stanisic and that's set in the publisher's fantasy universe of Set a Watch games.

Here's a quick taste of how to play:
In Merchants of Magick, you are the owner of a magic item shoppe, crafting items and research­ing spells to sell to the Adventurers of the Watch.

Each round, four polyhedral dice are rolled, then you select two of them to craft items or research enchantments for your shoppe. As you craft items and research spells, you start stocking items and earn potions that let you manipulate the dice. Adventurers travel from shoppe to shoppe, so you need to stock the exact items on the order cards in front of you. If you have an item an Adventurer needs, you earn coin — but if you wait too long to fulfill an order, Adventurers will become impatient and visit your competitor next door!

After ten rounds, the player who has earned the most coin wins.
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